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"The US education system is a complete mess, even the president of the country hasn't learned to respect others, and uses force to get others to follow his will," Zhou told the audience comprised of students from the city's four elite schools at Changsha No. 1 Middle School.|
Zhou made the comments amid widespread criticism of China's education system, which Zhou claimed has been a great success. "The reason our country has been making progress is we keep producing talent within our education system," Zhou said.
Although Zhou emphasized that his speech was not designed to recruit students, he repeatedly told the audience that Peking University is the best university in China. "It is a big loss for students to miss an opportunity to enroll at our school," Zhou added.
Peking University normally takes the best students through the highly competitive gaokao, or the National College Entrance Examinations. However, in recent years, more top students have passed on their offers, choosing to study in Western countries or Hong Kong.
Zhou earned his master's and doctorate degrees at the University of Massachusetts, a well-respected university in the US.He began serving as president of Peking University in December 2008.
Zhou's criticism on education in the US has led to several online disputes. As of today, there are more than 170,000 hits on this hot topic on Sina Microblog, the biggest microblog portal in China.